Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Promise

My posts won't always be this long! I am just having so much fun trying to figure out how to post pictures, etc. that I think I'm getting a little carried away. Thanks for humoring me!

Introducing Mommy's Immediate Family

We're very fortunate to have the majority of our immediate family nearby.

Here is the MH with her Sweetheart and Poppy (aka Mommy's parents). Sweetheart got her name because she was always referring to MH as Sweetheart. Even when MH was just starting to talk and had a name for everyone, she didn't have a name for my mom, one of the people she spent the most time with. One night after we'd spent the day together, MH was hugging and kissing them goodbye and said "Ni ni Poppy, Ni ni Seetheart!" We thought we had heard wrong, but she said it again immediately, and it has just evolved from there. Almost everyone who knows my mom knows her as Sweetheart - it's very endearing.

We are blessed to live about 15 minutes apart, and although MH has always had a very special bond with both of them, the last year and a half have taken their relationship to a new level. In having my back problems, I have spent a lot of time in and out of bed, unable to care for MH. And that was before the surgeries. Sweetheart deserves a Gold Medal for her dedication as both a mom and grandmother. Since I am still unable to care for MH on my own, she arrives every morning around 7:45 AM to take care of us while Hubby is at work. She takes me to physical therapy and leaves me while she and MH go on all kinds of adventures, makes sure we get out and do things that make me feel "normal" every day, does little things like pick up groceries for me, take me to run errands, and generally does everything possible to be a support to our family, and especially to me. Mom, words will never describe how lucky I am to have a mom like you.

And Poppy is just smitten with his little MH. In case I haven't mentioned, MH is an only child, and thanks to my back, will probably be one for some time. No one could love a little girl more - MH goes nuts whenever Poppy is around, and she loves to go to his office to visit him and give him a welcome break from his daily stress. One of the many things we can always count on Poppy (and Sweetheart) for is an endless supply of DD honey-glazed munchkins for MH and Iced Caramel Lattes (skim milk, of course!) for me (Hubby is a bit of a coffee snob, but he often benefits from the DD trips as well!). Poppy is an amazing help too - if I need him for ANYTHING, all I need to do is say the word and he's there. He is a great Dad, grandfather, brother, son, and uncle, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for anyone in his family.

Here is the MH with her Uncle DKR (Mommy's one and only brother) and Shay the Dog. Shay used to be our dog, but when my back injuries started kicking in, we quickly realized that she deserved a better home with someone who had the time to devote to a very active Golden Retriever who needed and deserved huge amounts of activity and attention. Luckily for us, DKR had just bought a condo and was looking for a dog. The decision was obvious. The best part is that we still get to see our Shay all the time, and MH doesn't remember that she ever lived with us. Uncle DKR is not only an AMAZING uncle, but the best brother a girl could ask for. We don't see him as often as we wish, since he's practically married to his job and lives about an hour away, but we settle for what we can get, and we're glad he's as close as he is!

So, Sweetheart, Poppy, DKR, and even Shay, we love you very much and this post is dedicated to all of you. You can't choose your family, but if we could, you'd be first on our list!

Someone's In the Kitchen With Mommy . . .

I got some well-needed rest for most of the day since Hubs had to go into his brother's office to do some work for him and my SIL agreed to watch the Mad Hatter (THANK YOU Auntie L, Uncle J, and cousins J-squared, for keeping MH so well entertained - she had a ball and is still talking about everything she did with you!). When they got home, I felt like I should get up and spend some time with MH, who was full of excitement and chatter about her day. My back wasn't feeling too bad since I had spent the majority of the day relaxing in bed, so I came up with a brilliant plan to spend some mother/daughter time in the kitchen.

Let me first say that MH loves to be of help. For anything. She had her step-stool in the kitchen faster than I could say bake. Let me also say that I. HATE. Bananas. However, noticing the other day that I had a few bananas reaching their prime (how am I supposed to know whether this will be the week she begs for 3 in one day or ignores them until they're rotten?), I turned to my all-time fave recipe site to find a recipe for banana muffins, figuring we'd add a little variety to her almost non-existent breakfast regimen (she takes after her mommy). I figured that the extra effort of averting my eyes and nose while mashing bananas was well worth the return of my investment in special time with my little girl.

Let's start with the list of ingredients (all should be gathered before getting started):

1 "the 80's called and said they want you back" Barbie doll
1 plastic Ariel pocketbook on shoulder, complete with miniature Ariel to "watch us cookin'"
1 book of miniature Ariel stickers to be stuck all over MH, Mommy, and even Hubby
A menagerie of carefully placed plastic zoo animals set up 'just so' to watch our cooking lesson
Random assortment of bananas, sugar, flour, eggs, etc.

So, MH is quite excited to make our Banana Cupcakes (we're having some trouble lately distinguishing between cupcakes and muffins). She watches me peel the bananas, giggles as I mash them up in my fabulous Pampered Chef Batter Bowl, and measure out some other ingredients for her to help put into the bowl. This is where things go a bit astray. Next thing I know, we're using measuring cups for mixing, dumping baking soda all over the counter and floor, and it looks like the contents of my pantry have thrown up on my center island. And the more I try to be fun and understanding mommy, the less she listens, until eventually she 1) asks if we can eat the cupcakes now (not yet sweetie, we still need to bake the cupcakes) and 2) Declares that she has had enough of our fun and is "goin' downstairs to play with Daddy". So much for bonding over baking.

The moral of the story? When I get the urge to bake with MH, I think I'll stick to my good 'ol Betty Crocker muffin mix - add water, mix, and bake. No attention span required, minimal mess and cleanup.

Betty Crocker must do a lot of baking with 3 year olds.

Though I did not dare taste the banana "cupcakes" (I'll admit that they didn't smell all that bad) the Mad Hatter and Daddy seemed to thoroughly enjoy them after dinner. Looks like this Betty Crocker might have to make them again soon - although next time, I might forego my little sous chef.

McMommy goes POW!

I have spent quite a bit of my recovery time on the laptop and getting into blog reading. It's kind of like therapy without the bill. And it's addictive. About a month ago, I happened upon what is now one of my favorite blogs in the blogosphere - The McMommy Chronicles. McMommy is adorable, sweet, genuine, absolutely hilarious, and has two of the cutest little boys you will ever see. In fact, I'm quite sure that if I met her in person, we'd be great friends (or at least I'd beg her to share a glass of wine with me). We even share the same lame-o thyroid!

McMommy recently started doing POW Fridays. What is POW, you ask? Post of the week! It's an opportunity for us bloggers (yes, it's my 2nd post and I will dare to call myself a blogger) to link our fave post of the week to hers. As she describes it (perfectly), it's like window shopping the blogs! You just click on one of the links and it will take you right to that blogger's post. What a fab way to discover more blogs to become addicted to. Did I mention blogs are addictive?

So, in the spirit of my learning, I *think* I actually linked my first blog post to her POW post for this week. Check it out - not only will you meet to marvelous McMommy, but I dare you not to find more blogs to add to your blogroll! Speaking of blogrolls, my next task is to start a list of links to my fave blogs so you can see what inspired me to take the plunge and go for it myself. In the meantime, if you have made it here, please leave a comment! And for all of you avid bloggers, please leave ADVICE on how I can up the coolness factor here. I consider myself to be fairly computer savvy, but some of this stuff is just downright confusing! Yeah, I already managed to find myself a template I liked, and I can probably figure out the widget thing, but take a look at the bottom of my blog - there is a big rectangle I can NOT figure out how to get rid of! Like I said, I'm learning . . .

Friday, May 30, 2008

Here goes nothing . . .

Hmmm . . . my first post.

Welcome to Mommy Learns to Blog! Yep, that about covers my goal here. Over the past several months, I've discovered that I love to read other peoples' blogs. And most of the time I'm thinking . . . I could do that! Living with DH and our lively 3-year old DD lovingly referred to as The Mad Hatter, along with my own never-ending ramblings, there's no doubt I'll have plenty of "stuff" to write about. And if you know me (and if not, you'll learn soon enough), you know I'm never at a loss for words. So, I figure this blogging thing could work out for me.

Now comes to fun part - turning it into a cool looking, fun, and easy to navigate page that people can't wait to come back to. I hope you will join (and HELP) me on my journey as Mommy Learns to Blog, and that we'll enjoy the ride together!